NETHERLANDS - The €3.3bn pension fund PNO Media and the €152m scheme for the Dutch film and cinema industry have announced their intention to merge.

Ron Sterk, chairman of the film and cinema scheme, said: "PNO Media could offer the benefits of scale, as well as certainty for the future of our pension plan.

"Moreover, at PNO Media, our identity will remain largely intact, while we can also have a say about our pension arrangements."

Sterk added that PNO Media would take over the full pension rights of the participants of his pension fund.

He said he was expecting the merger to be completed before the summer, but stressed that managing the process carefully was a priority.

At present, the pension fund has contracted out its asset management to F&C, while Syntrus Achmea is carrying out its pension administration.

According to the chairman, the film and cinema scheme has spoken with four players during the selection process, which followed a 'strategic re-orientation'.

Ton Tekstra, chairman at PNO Media, said he was very pleased with the proposed merger.

"The customers of the film and cinema scheme excellently match our target group in the media sector and the profile of our pension fund," he added.

The Pensioenfonds voor het Film- en Bioscoopbedrijf has 139 affiliated companies, with a total of 14,145 participants.

Its coverage ratio is approximately 100%, whereas PNO Media's funding was 99% at year-end.